Steve Carell may be leaving "The Office" at the end of the season, but he's sticking with NBC. On Thursday, the network announced that it has bought a new comedy series from the actor, tentatively titled "The Post-Graduate Project," to be produced by Universal Media Studios and Carell's Carousel Television, and executive produced by Carell and Thom Hinkle ("The Daily Show").
NBC says the single-camera comedy is "a sweet and nostalgic take on the period of Carell's early life as a U.S. Post Office mail carrier and centers on a small-town post office frequented by a quirky but tight-knit group of local twentysomethings."
When he was younger, Carell worked for a brief amount of time at a post office in Littleton, Mass., where he delivered mail by driving his own car around between mailboxes. (The post office didn't have its own mail trucks.)
He talked about his time as a mail carrier when he appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live." He told King, "I was a rural mail carrier in Littleton, Massachusetts. And I used my own car, because they didn't have mail carrier vehicles, because this is, you know, a small town. I delivered to, I used my Toyota Corona, and I drove, you know, it's a left-hand drive and you have to deliver mail out the right-hand side, so I drove with one hand and one foot and threw mail out the right window.”
King asked if mail ever fell on the ground. "Oh, all the time. I actually moved to Chicago after I was a mail carrier, and probably three or four months later, I was still finding mail under the seat, undelivered. So I'm sorry if you didn't get a check."
This new series will not be Carell's first foray into writing. Along with co-writer Judd Apatow, he received a Writer's Guild of America nomination for best original screenplay for "The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
-- Melissa Maerz
Photo:Steve Carell in June 2007. Credit: Myung J. Chung / Los Angeles Times